On 11 December 2018, L.N. 411 of 2018 – European Union Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives Implementation Regulations 2018, was enacted transposing the provisions of the EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive – Directive (EU) 2016/1164 of 12 July 2016 (the ATAD) with effect from 1 January 2019.
The main thrust of the regulations is to implement the anti-tax avoidance measures contained in the ATAD. The ATAD was originally proposed by the European Commission on 28 January 2016 as part of the Anti-Tax Avoidance package. The aim of the ATAD is to have a uniform implementation (and in some cases exceeding) of the Base Erosion and Profit shifting recommendations by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
To this effect the Regulations introduce three novel anti-avoidance concepts into Maltese income tax law namely, an Interest Limitation Rule, Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) Legislation, Exit Taxation.
They also expand on the Genaral Anti-Abuse (GAAR) rule to include arrangements or a series of arrangements which, having been put into place for the main purpose or one of the main purposes of obtaining a tax advantage that defeats the object or purpose of the applicable tax law or are not genuine.
The aforementioned provisions apply to all companies as well as other entities, trusts and similar arrangements that are subject to tax in Malta in the same manner as companies, including entities that are not resident in Malta but that have a permanent establishment in Malta provided that they are subject to tax in Malta as companies.
These developments are quite significant in Maltese income tax history, especially given the island’s positioning as a tax-efficient jurisdiction and will present some challenges for traditional tax-structuring for international investors. Accordingly, taxpayers already involved or contemplating any investment structure using Malta should seek specialist assistance on the matter.
Corrieri Cilia is a qualified law firm specialising mainly in international taxation and international business, and providing corporate, management and tax compliance services. If you need advice in any of these areas, please contact us on [email protected] to find out how we can help you.